I grew up in a farming community. I remember riding a tractor with my grandfather as he turned rich bottomland soil and hoeing weeds in my grandmother’s garden in order to maximize the future harvest.
Years later, I can’t help but smile as I reflect on those times. I am also reminded that my grandparents were not just teaching me the fine art of gardening. They were teaching me responsibility, the importance of diligence, and the reward that comes from hard work. You see, soil wasn’t the only thing they were cultivating – they were also working on my heart and mind.
Are you as a leader cultivating your employees? Are you a grower who makes other growers? If you’re not sure, here are some observable outcomes to consider:
- Growers believe in and promote high standards – “Get by” is not in their vocabulary. Instead, terms like quality and performance and phrases like excellent customer service fill their vocabularies because they embrace a standard that is above the acceptable minimum.
- Growers are not defined by job title – They set high standards whether selling snacks at the city pool or managing a department.
- Growers are not intimidated by the success of others – Growers expect others to succeed and will do whatever they can to make sure that is the rule and not the exception.
- Growers embrace constructive criticism – They do not blame others nor do they belittle themselves when something goes wrong. Instead, they turn critics into coaches while learning from the past without getting mired in it.
- Growers say “we” more than they say “I” – They choose to think beyond how decisions impact them as individuals and view their work through a more comprehensive scope.
So, are you cultivating growers? If so, prepare to reap what you sow. And that, my friends, can be a very positive outcome.